Braised venison shin with celery gratin

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves 2

By Matt Tebbutt

For the braised venison shin

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 x 350g/12oz venison osso buco shanks (shin on the bone)
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander stalks
  • 2 oranges, juice and peel in large pieces
  • 1 star anise
  • pinch saffron
  • 1 head garlic, top cut off to reveal cloves
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml/7fl oz vegetable stock

For the celery gratin

  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 head celery, trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • handful baby spinach
  • small bunch rainbow chard, roughly chopped
  • few sprigs thyme
  • 6 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock
  • 150ml/5 fl oz double cream
  • 150ml/5 fl oz full-fat milk
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, to serve


  1. For the braised venison, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large casserole. Lightly dust the venison shin with flour and add to the pan, turning to seal on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan and once hot, cook the onion and celery for 3–5 minutes, or until softened. Add the coriander seeds and stalks, orange juice and peel, star anise, saffron and garlic head and cook for a further 1–2 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and then add the chopped tomatoes and stock. Add the venison shin back to the casserole and leave to slow cook on the hob over a low heat (or in the oven at 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4) for 2–3 hours. Turn the meat every 20 minutes or so and top up with more stock if required. Once cooked and the meat is very tender, take off the heat and remove the star anise, orange peel and head of garlic.

  3. Meanwhile for the celery gratin, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

  4. Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the onion, celery, spinach, chard, thyme, garlic and bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock and cook for 5–10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

  5. Mix the cream, milk and eggs together in a bowl.

  6. Remove the garlic cloves and bay leaves from the vegetables and then spoon into an ovenproof baking dish. Pour the milk mixture over the vegetables and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

  7. Serve the venison with some of its sauce and the celery gratin, garnished with the coriander leaves.